Crossing over to stunning Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest is a must for visitors to the Port Stephens blue water wonderland . Sit back and relax to the pristine waters of the harbour, whilst enjoying the 360 degree views. Port Stephens Ferry Link Service runs daily return charters to Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, featuring informative commentary and open panoramic viewing of the local dolphin and wildlife population.
Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest are to be found on the estuary of the Myall River on the northern side of Port Stephens. Nearby is the Myall Lakes National Park which covers an area of 44,000 hectares, including 10,125 hectares of lakes.
Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest are connected by the Singing Bridge that spans the Myall River, about 3500 people reside here, who along with the many visitors to the area enjoy a wealth of interests, including fishing, both river and sea. Sporting activities such as windsurfing, golf, tennis, swimming, bowls and croquet are popular. Arts and craft abound. The pristine beaches are very popular. Swimmers and surfers love Bennetts Beach. Whilst the calmer water of Jimmys Beach is great for swimming and digging in the sand, providing a great opportunity for relaxation for families.
Port Stephens Ferry Service History
In 1904 the first passenger ferry between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens was started by the Boyce and Thurlo families. It proved such a success that the runs had to be expanded to Salt Ash and Soldiers Point. They operated three launches; Reliance, Kingfisher and Replica. These petrol driven vessels carried supplies and passengers on a daily basis.
In 1927 the business was taken over by the Engal family, who installed the first diesel engines to operate at Port Stephens. With the outbreak of World War II the vessels were commandeered and the Engel family was forced to close. In 1987 the ferry service was restarted with an aluminium vessel named Waterbus operating four days a week between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens.
Today, the Port Stephens Ferry Services Pty Ltd operates two traditional old timber ferries and a high speed vessel, carrying many passengers each year from Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens. Its a ferry ride that both visitors and locals can enjoy, taking in the river system and all the surrounding areas that Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest has to offer.
Check our Ferry Timetable for Daily Departure Times
Bikes are permitted on the ferry $2.00 charge per bike
Golf Bags $2.00 charge per bag
Boarding time is 15 minutes prior to departure
We stop at Hawks Nest at 9.10am and at 3.30pm or on request
No dogs permitted during the holiday period
The Nelson Bay, Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens Ferry Link Service departs daily from the Public Jetty Wharf at Nelson Bay, near the Game Fish Weigh Station; and from Tea Gardens Wharf Public Ferry Wharf opposite the Hotel. We stop at Hawks Nest Public Wharf on request, enquire on booking. One way and return tickets available, as well as Family Discount Tickets.
Departs from the public wharf Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay